By Ian Dipple Friday 08 March 2013 Updated: 08/03 09:07
RESIDENTS gathered outside the Alexandra Hospital this week to send a clear message to health bosses travelling to Worcester for essential services was not an option.
Worried elderly residents met at the Woodrow Drive site on Wednesday (March 6) to make their feelings known about the initial findings of the JSR which will see A&E, paediatrics and maternity services centralised into Worcester or Birmingham under a second option being discussed by commissioners.
Webheath resident Ray Griffiths said he did not want to see services downgraded.
"Worcester is not an easy place to get to and even Birmingham is still pretty bad particularly for older people. I've got a car but not everybody has," he said.
"We need to retain as many services as we can but if I'm forced into it then I would prefer Birmingham as it is easier to get to."
Terry Tracey spent 40 years in the NHS and worked as a sister at the Alexandra Hospital as well as at Smallwood Hospital.
She said: "I would have preferred both options to be on the table at the same time instead of being given to us piecemeal.
"I understand how being in a specialist hospital is the best place to be and the lack of specialist registrars because you need them but I don't know why they can't withdraw the troops from Afghanistan and use the money to recruit more doctors.
"I hope the QE (in Birmingham) takes it on because there's a train service from Redditch to the hospital and more buses. They say most people will travel by ambulance but it's about the relatives as well."
John Gilmore said he wanted to hear more from the clinicians about why the changes were taking place.
Rebecca Blake, Labour's Parliamentary spokeswoman for Redditch, said she had written to the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt to ask what the Government was doing to address the shortage of doctors nationally.
"Many people are worried about journey times to Worcester, especially older people. Questions on whether the ambulance service will be able to cope and whether the Worcestershire Royal will be able to take the extra patients remain," she said.
"The awaited second option from Birmingham must listen to local people's needs."
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